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From the Design Desk: Creative Inspiration - Coloring Books!

As a creative person who is also a big kid at heart, I can safely and proudly say that I have never stopped loving the simple joy of coloring with crayons or colored pencils.  We get this idea in our heads as creative professionals that now that we're all grown up, we should be using more refined tools than your common Crayolas, like art markers or paints and pastels.  But there is a simple and cathartic joy in coloring in a pretty picture, regardless of your age - and people are starting to catch on.
Photograph: Johanna Basford and Laurence King on
In April of this year, The Guardian published an article about a Scottish illustrator named Johanna Basford, who was beating authors like George R.R. Martin and Harper Lee on the Amazon Best-Sellers list with her line of coloring books for adults.  Basford's two books, titled Secret Garden and Enchanted Garden, are full of intricate black-and white line drawings just waiting to be filled in with your favorite medium of choice. Detailed coloring books are nothing new - Dover Publications is one of my favorite sources, with books ranging from abstract designs to historical figures, replica posters and landscapes. You might scoff, but spend ten minutes with a box of crayons and one of these detailed pictures and you might be surprised to find that it is one of the most calming, relaxing, and inspiring creative exercises you can do. And there are books out there for all kinds - in this article on Two Sides, the author mentions that even Marvel is coming out with a line of comic-inspired coloring books aimed at adult audiences. Next time you're feeling creatively strained, why not try finding a coloring book - either at your local bookstore or borrow one from your kids! And if you're like me at all, any excuse to pull out that coveted big box of 126 Crayola Crayons is a good one!

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